Basketball: Record number of international players reach NBA postseason

Tony Parker (centre) goes to the basket against Houston Rockets player Ryan Anderson (left).
Tony Parker (centre) goes to the basket against Houston Rockets player Ryan Anderson (left). PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The NBA postseason will have a distinct international flair with a record 62 foreign born players from 33 countries chasing a championship ring, the league said on Thursday (April 12).

All 16 teams competing in the playoffs will have at least one international player while the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers lead the way with seven foreign born players on each roster.

The Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs each have six.

NBA fans in France and Australia will have more reason to follow the postseason than others with seven players from each country on squad lists, followed by Canada and Spain with four.

Frenchman Tony Parker, a four-time champion with the San Antonio Spurs will be making his 17th straight playoff appearance, the longest active streak among all NBA players.

The NBA playoffs begin on Saturday with the Golden State Warriors opening the defence of their crown against the Spurs.

The league also said it had set all-time records for total attendance (22,124,559), average attendance (17,987) and sellouts (741) during the 2017-18 season.